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Old 09-28-2004, 06:40 PM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: SuSE 9.1
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Incessant hard disk activity - proc/bus/pci

Ever since I installed SuSE 9.1, my hard drive light flashes once every 2 seconds or so. The find utility reports that there are around 1000+ files whose modification time falls within the minute. Almost all these files are 0 bytes so I'm not sure what this really means. Perhaps they are just being "touched". There are some (about a dozen) non-empty files - most of them in /proc or proc/bus/pci or in /dev. Note that these are files that are supposedly being modified (not just accessed).

I find this a bit unnerving. I only use the system for personal work, and going on the internet, so this kind of activity seems rather gratuitous. Can anyone shed some light on this.

NOTE: When I first installed the system, I had noticed that it was causing problems with my NT installation leading me to disable ACPI. Please have a look at the last two posts (#52 and #53) on THIS page.

Last edited by emeskay; 09-28-2004 at 06:42 PM.
Old 10-02-2004, 04:17 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2002
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Gentoo, Ubuntu, Debian
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The files in /proc aren't "real" files on the hard disk, so they're not indicative of the problem. Are you sure it's not simply because you're downloading something?
Old 10-02-2004, 09:50 PM   #3
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No, because, it starts right away on boot up, even when I'm not doing anything on the machine.

In any case I found one of the culprits. Liitle beast by the name of suseplugger which lay awake at night worrying about whether I was about to install some new hardware. Turned it off and set it to not startup at boot time. The activity has now reduced to once every 6 seconds or so. I am looking for an application that can monitor file access or at least hard drive access and tell me which process is using the disk. filemon is one but it is not compatible with newer kernels. There are a couple of others, but they don't tell you which process.

The fuser command is useful but doesn't give quite what I need. I'm trying to wade through the man page for lsof. It's pretty cryptic, but I'm hopeful that it will have some switch that meets my need. Are there any others I could use?

Also, I've noticed another strange problem. The susehelpcenter application takes about 3 minutes ??? to start up.

Last edited by emeskay; 10-02-2004 at 09:53 PM.
Old 12-09-2004, 08:17 PM   #4
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I have the same symptom, or similar. I get a little twitch of disk activity every 4.5 to 5 seconds. I have noticed that it only occurs when auser is logged onto the system. Taking a quick look I found the process you mentioned and another sitting next to each other suseplugger and susewatcher with sequential pids and started by kdeinit.


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